Sri Lanka has managed to pull off a minor miracle by defeating the powerful Pakistan team and winning the T20I series in Lahore yesterday. They won the second match of the series by 35 runs and have clinched the 3 match series with a game still to go. The young Sri Lankan brigade will have its eyes set on a clean sweep. If it does happen Sri Lanka would have achieved a massive goal. This is also their first-ever T20I series win against Pakistan. The hosts will have some difficult questions that have to be answered. After a great record in T20 matches, Pakistan’s form has been on a decline. This is the 3rd defeat in a T20I series for them and it might end the careers of a few players and the most likely candidate is Umar Akmal.
Sri Lanka team preparations
In the 2nd match of the series, Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa was pretty impressive for his team as he belted a 48 ball 77 with 4 boundaries and 7 sixes. In the bowling department, Nuwan Pradeep was successful in picking 4 wickets and Isura Udana got 2. But it was Wanindu Hasaranga who really changed the course of the match with 3 strikes in the same over. He managed to dismiss Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmed Shahzad, and Umar Akmal with his googlies. Sri Lanka has gone unchanged in both matches so far and will stick to the winning combination for the last match as well. The biggest gain for the Sri Lankan team in the absence of key players will be Bhanuka Rajapaksa. He has scored runs in both the matches played so far. Udana has been among wickets in both matches of the series and so has been Nuwan Pradeep.
Pakistan team preparations
For Pakistan Imad Wasim looked good and hit a 29 ball 47 but could not garner sufficient support from other members of his team. The number one T20I side in the world is under pressure and you can pretty much expect them to pull off something spectacular in the last match. Fakhar Zaman returned to the side for bolstering the batting lineup in the series and Haris Sohail will be added to the side with two consecutive failures for Umar Akmal. Wahab Riaz got the nod ahead of Faheem Ashraf and he bowled reasonably well in the match. Babar Azam remains the key batsman for Pakistan but with a scratchy 10 ball innings producing next to nothing in the second match, he will be under pressure. But he has managed ten half-centuries in the last 32 matches and is probably the most dependable batsman in the Pakistan batting lineup. The leg spinner Shadab Khan has been among wickets in both matches and was in good touch in the West Indian Premier League. Imad Wasim’s all-round abilities can prove to be a huge asset to the team.
Although Sri Lankans lacked most of their senior players in the ranks they could post a total of 165 in the first game. But Pakistan remains favorites for the last game as they will go all out to try and restore some pride. They will have to play out their skins though as the unheralded Sri Lankan side has gained a lot of confidence in the last two matches.
Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Timing: Monday, October 09, 2019, 7 PM LOCAL.
India & Subcontinent: Sony Six, Sony Six HD
New Zealand: SKY Sport NZ
UK: Sky Sports Cricket
Australia: Fox Sports
South Africa: SuperSport
Canada: ATN Cricket Plus (Asian Television Network), CBN
USA: Willow TV, Hotstar
Malaysia: Astro Cricket HD
MENA: OSN Sports Cricket HD
Bangladesh: Gazi TV (GTV), BTV, Maasranga TV
Live Streaming: SonyLIV, Sky Go, Now TV.